If, like me, you’re committed to sharing the inside-out Truth with a doubting world, here’s a post that will hopefully spark some perspective—and maybe a bit of fortitude as well.
Back when I wrote Stillpower, my second publisher (Simon and Schuster) hired a PR team responsible for my social media following. As a result, the retweets, likes, and number of followers skyrocketed. Over the years since, however, the opposite has occurred. But not to worry, I’ve come to realize that this is actually a very, very good sign.
You see, as my work deepens—becomes more aligned with the Truth that the world’s greatest teachers have pointed to forever, and less aligned with behavioral strategies, how-to coping techniques, motivational mantras, or my own opinions—those looking for circumstantial excuses for their moods, blueprints to success, or tips on finding well-being are abruptly tuning me out. Yet, on the other hand, my clients, students, and family are thriving like never before.
Plus, as the masses keep falling away, my work is now attracting the type of followers (people) who are not only capable of sharing the inside-out message themselves, but of helping me improve on the manner in which I share it. We’re talking about preachers, clerics, rabbis, believers, coaches, broadcasters, business leaders, athletes, and mental-health professionals. Even some who say, “At first, I wanted to strangle you, Garret, but I’m now beginning to see . . .” And the result? The dissemination of the inside-out paradigm continues to benefit dramatically.
The message here is simple: Even in today’s internet age, numbers tend to produce diminishing returns. It’s consciousness, not quantity, that holds the key to spreading Truth (or the indelible fact that one’s feeling state cannot be caused or cured by anything from the world of form). The most significant sage in the history of this teaching, for example, had only twelve followers (sort of); while the masses took his inside-out offerings and example personally, revolted, and you know the rest.
So, what about you? If in your shares, social media posts, books, or teachings you refuse to pander and truly rebuff the outside-in lie, the uninformed will attack. They’ll sarcastically ridicule and reject every word you say. They’ll malign you personally and come after your good name. Are you ready? Can you stand resolute and weather the storm?
If you know where your feelings are coming from, the answer is yes.
Thanks for reading,
While watching Golf Channel’s coverage of the Scottish Open during my hour in the gym on Friday morning, I heard the word CONFIDENCE mentioned thirty-four times by commentators (that’s right, after hearing it repeatedly when I first tuned in, I actually decided to count). Over and over again, the importance of feeling confident was stressed:
“It’s amazing what holing a few putts will do for your confidence.”
“This kind of course ignites his confidence.”
“What does your recent string of good finishes do for your confidence?”
My goodness. Since, from where I sit, chasing confidence is the ultimate mind trap, let’s reverse course. Believe it or not, confidence has NOTHING to do with past performance, environment, or any external circumstance. Confidence, or a lack thereof, springs from the uncontrollable principle of thought. When thought freely flows through you, you’ll feel confident. When thought becomes jammed, you won’t. And, again, this cause-and-effect connection between thought and confidence cannot be influenced by holing putts, a particular kind of golf course, a string of good finishes, or anything external.
Now, I’m plenty aware that many readers will disagree with this inside-out take on confidence. So, if that includes you, here are two questions to ponder:
- Why do the most accomplished people often feel insecure?
- Why do young children often feel confident?
See what I mean? Confidence is strictly an inner phenomenon. And, like young children, the closer you get to the inner knowledge that confidence comes and goes as thought comes and goes, the less and less your level of confidence will even matter to you.
Last of all, as mentioned above, you don’t control your thinking or whether or not you feel confident in the moment. But that’s not bad news because: Confidence has NOTHING to do with your capacity to excel. In other words, all feelings are normal and no feeling is limiting. Therefore, don’t fall into the trap of chasing, or wasting energy trying to manage, something that’s essentially meaningless. Confident or not, you are strong, resilient, and oh so capable—always.
Here’s a brief article to make an important distinction that will help you better understand, and serve, others: Although many will say the opposite, when it comes to the human mind and body—one size, in fact, does fit all.
Oh, I know it doesn’t look that way. It appears, for example, that no two golfers swing the club the same way, just like it appears that one person’s psychological issues are different from another’s. But what we’re actually seeing are effects, byproducts, or symptoms of the same inner phenomenon playing out differently for each of us. In other words, kinetically our bodies all work the same, and spiritually our minds all work the same. We just seem separate because, outwardly, no two people share the identical physical characteristics or life circumstances.
So why is this distinction important to consider? Well, if you’re a helper (and we all are) and you address personal symptoms—i.e., part of a golfer’s swing that seems out of whack, or a suffering person’s past that seems troubling—you’re not addressing the root. For golfers, the root is how, universally, the human body moves and generates power. When the swing goes astray, golfers simply lose touch with the fundamental principles of movement. For all of us when we suffer, the root is that we’re seeking answers (causes of and cures for our feelings) outside—such as in the past. A suffering person has simply lost touch with the fundamental principle that feelings can only be fashioned internally.
Yes, one size does fit all. The human body moves one way. The human mind works one way. Don’t be blinded by, or cater to, the physical facade of separateness and try to help others by digging into what’s personal. Rather, resolutely point inward to what’s true across the board for everyone—to “oneness.” Salvation is found there.
A frequent plea I hear from clients is some version of this: “Why can’t I fight off these thoughts? I don’t want this stuff on my mind. I try and try, but I can’t drive the thoughts away! It’s exhausting.”
The underlying difficulty for these clients is that they are shadow-boxing an illusion. But since it is their own illusion, it appears real to them. The harder they fight it, the more vivid it appears. In absolute innocence, they are holding thoughts in place that would have simply passed through their minds if they had not given them a second thought.
Just as surely as we can bring any thought to mind intentionally, we can experience random thoughts that seem to pop into our minds. A fear awakened. A memory triggered. A previous situation revisited. Such thoughts jolt us. When we form a thought, an image on the screen of our mind, our sensory system creates the feeling/experience of that thought. If the feeling/experience is unwanted, unpleasant, unnerving, we are upset and we want to “do” something to clear it away. But as long as we are focused on the effort to get rid of it, we are still creating it and it still looks real. You have to remain aware of something to fight it.
The idea that we have to manage or monitor the content of our thinking and handle distressing thoughts before they “get” us is a misunderstanding of the nature of thought, and of our true power as human beings. Our “superpower” is the power to think, and continually think again, and to know that the power never fails. The content of thoughts is ever-changing and transitory. The ability to think is a constant spiritual power, inherent to our life. Feelings are the shadows of our thoughts, the feedback loop that lets us know the quality of our thinking. Winning a fight against our thoughts is impossible; thoughts are insubstantial.
If we focus on fighting the content of unpleasant thoughts we have created, we put ourselves into an endless loop. We have to keep thinking the content we don’t like in order to keep trying to fight it. We either keep creating the thoughts or we allow them to dissolve into the ether as new thoughts come come to mind. If we ignore the thoughts and recognize the feeling of unpleasantness as a signal to quiet down and know all our thoughts will pass, other thoughts will come to mind. We are inclined to quietude when we hold all our thought content lightly. After all, it’s our imagination at work, good or bad, and there’s always a lot more where it came from.
The first time I ever heard anyone say that feelings are the navigational guides that help us through life, maybe 30 years ago, I rejected the idea entirely. I counted on my intellect for the medical practice management business I was in; I earned my living examining the content of my and others’ thought. I got paid for developing good ideas. It didn’t matter how I felt, for heaven’s sake. Weak people paid attention to their feelings. In my world, at that time. when the going got tough, the tough got going.
But a strange thing happened. I started to notice my clients’ moods. I realized that when they were upset, meetings went badly, they were argumentative, they weren’t able to listen, they paid no attention to new ideas. That explained a lot of the “difficulty” of my work. Then I noticed how personally I took the things upset clients said to me — as if they made sense. My own moods started to be visible to me. I saw that I spent most of my time in extreme levels of stress and distress, and my whole life was a struggle to get my bearings. My mind was going a million miles an hour. It never “stood out” to me because, in my business, everyone was like that. Enduring enormous stress with determination to forge ahead was the hallmark of success.
I couldn’t help but notice that all the people I was meeting who were working in Innate Health were happy, relaxed, at ease with themselves and others, open-minded, fun to work with, AND smart and successful. I started to wonder why I couldn’t live like that. I started to appreciate what I could gain from listening to these people explain to me the true source of peace of mind, creativity, wisdom, insight, productivity, joy: a quiet mind in a positive feeling state. It occurred to me it was contrary to human nature to run a low-mood business. I felt sad that I never had peace of mind. I wished I wasn’t so stressed and upset.
I made it hard for myself early on trying to figure it out. Over time, in the presence of understanding people who believed in my — everyone’s — resilience and innate well-being, I got quieter and quieter. Then the insights came. I started to see for myself that life was really simple. I’m making it up, thought by thought. Thoughts generate a state of mind, a feeling state. If I don’t like my feeling state, I can ignore it and new thoughts will come to mind, just like that. I’m always one thought away from an entirely fresh experience.
I was creating all my stress and distress. Wow! If I was creating it, I could ignore it. I could leave it alone. I could create anew.
Everything changed for me. When I look around the world today, I see my “old” self everywhere, and my heart goes out to agitated, insecure people. I know how real their problems look to them. But I am filled with love and hope for them because the answer to all human suffering is only one thought away. No exceptions. Beneath all the thought-created turmoil across the globe, everyone on the planet is one simple insight away from peace of mind. If it could happen to me, a person who wore my stress like the red badge of courage, it could happen to anyone who simply wondered, “Could I be at peace?” and looked to quiet for an answer.
The feeling was deep and rich, as individuals from Canada, the US, UK, Mexico, Australia, Norway, and Hong Kong came together to experience the spiritual understanding that is the Three Principles, uncovered by Sydney Banks. Each of you made the School what it was, sharing your energy and wisdom for the good of all.
Video excerpts from this session will be available soon on our YouTube channel, as well as on this website and our Facebook page.